Westley happy to put faith in ‘reliable Lairdy’

Boro left-back scores second successful penalty in a week

Stevenage manager Graham Westley praised Scott Laird’s ‘fantastic character’ after the left-back stepped up to score Saturday’s winning goal from the penalty spot at Hartlepool.

Laird’s spot kick, after goalkeeper Scott Flinders had brought down Chris Beardsley in the Hartlepool box, was the defender’s second successful penalty in a week, and after saying he believed the decision to award the penalty was correct Westley praised Laird for his ‘depth of confidence’ to put the ball in the net.

“The penalty is the moment that won the game,” Westley said, “[and there is] not a lot to talk about. Beardo’s gone past the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper’s pulled him down, penalty given, Lairdy scored it. It did the job for us during the day.

“We had to rely upon our defensive work to keep the sheet clean, and we weren’t productive enough with our possession against their 10 men, but in the end we’ve done enough with that penalty to win the game.

“After the difficulties we’re having [with recent penalty misses] two penalties scored in two weeks makes a change doesn’t it? We know Lairdy, he’s a fantastic character. He’s got a depth of confidence and he’s the type of man that you know you can rely upon and he’s always got the courage as an individual to give to the team.”